Policy-makers and researchers are increasingly concerned with the quality of urban areas, their local economies and social conditions, yet major problems exist in understanding the nature of the economic, social and political changes as these impact on the urban environment. Without such understanding, any move towards managing change in cities is obstructed. Featuring contributions from urban planners in Europe and the USA, this study interprets the contemporary dynamics of the social relations of urban regions and their implications for urban governance. The contributors build on research in urban political economy and debates on modernism and postmodernism, Fordism and post-Fordism. The conceptual and empirical challenges of understanding the future of urban change and urban management are reviewed, focusing on the relational networks through which people in firms, households and government agencies are linked together.